By Dr. Becker
Mutts, even with their ambiguous ancestry, have the potential of weaving a unique and appealing pattern into the fabric of your home, different than the predictable characteristics of purebreds. While you may have only a vague idea of what type of ancestry is represented in a mixed breed's family tree, she'll bring an abundance of awesomeness that may surprise you. Here are 10 ways mutts are awesome.
#10: They're Unique
No one in the world has a dog exactly like the mixed breed dogs you'll find at any local shelter. The breed variations mutts represent make for a much wider selection when a family or individual decides to find themselves a forever friend. The furry favorite might have a bit of a curl in his coat, or his ears might be a little more pointed than one might expect for the rest of his physical characteristics, and that makes him exceptional! In contrast, purebred dogs can be "cookie cutter" in their sameness. The standard being for all of them to look and have behavior characteristics representative of the breed. Your standard mutt is unique!
#9: Mutts Are More Flexible
While purebred dogs have been "ordered" with a prescribed set of attributes, such as natural hunting skills or a certain physical appearance, mutts have their own brand of cuteness, good nature and ability to go with the flow, in many circumstances. He may adjust more readily because no one will have any expectations for him to be a sheepherder or trick performer – he'll just be himself, which is awesome.
#8: Mutts Can Compete, Too
While purebreds might be sought after as competitors in a number of categories, such as showmanship or pedigree, mixed breeds can compete, as well. The most common arena for mutts might be in agility competitions, according to the North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC), which is "open to dog and handler teams of all ages and competing at any level or division." Mixed breeds can also compete in United Kennel Club (UKC) events, dock jumping, and a wide range of other canine-centered (not breed exclusive) activities.
#7: Mutts Can Be Trained as Service Dogs
Some may think only purebreds can be trained to be service dogs, but that's not the case. Mutts are every bit as trainable in the arena of helping humans. They've achieved remarkable success on a lot of fronts, helping the blind and deaf, people suffering from illness and PTSD, not to mention their skills as therapy dogs and providing awesome emotional support.
#6: Housetraining Is Provided
The reasons dogs are relinquished to shelters are varied and numerous, but most were brought in often through no fault of their own. Many of the mixed breed dogs in shelters were once members of the family, and may already be housetrained. With this in mind, an abundance of adorably awesome pups are as ready as ever to join a loving forever family.
#5: Mature Dogs, Not Just Puppies, Are Available
If you're ready to find a furry friend at the shelter, but the thought of going through all the stages of housetraining a puppy seems daunting, never fear – plenty of awesome, adult mutts are ready and waiting. You'll be able to choose a pup at just the right age, size and temperament to fit your family, with no awkward or unplanned-for surprises.
#4: Mutts May Have Fewer Health Issues
If you seek out a dog breeder when you're ready to open your home to a pet, you may run across dogs with physical problems that occurred because they were purposely bred to look or work a certain way. Some purebred dog breeds have tendencies toward particular health issues, while mixed breed pups may be healthier, overall. Breed specific disorders include hypothyroidism, cardiomyopathy, cataracts and elbow dysplasia.
#3: They Require Less Cash Up Front
Purebred dogs offered by breeders can run into the hundreds of dollars and more when prospective dog owners decide to adopt. A much better value, pound for pound, is a mutt, whose adoption fee will probably run from $50 to $100.
#2: You're Saving a Life
You want to bring a dog into your family to share the love, but it's awesome to know you're saving a dog's precious life at the same time. Most pups in shelters are mutts, and shelters too often opt to euthanize those who've been deemed unadoptable or have simply been there too long. When you choose your own sweet mixed breed at the shelter and take him home, you're literally saving a life. What's more awesome than that?
#1: Their Awesomeness Is Contagious
Purebred pups are somewhat predictable. When people go to breeders and specify the dog they want for its abilities, looks or size, it's like ordering from a catalog. He'll have a prescribed set of skills and characteristics, bred into him following strict, breed specific guidelines, just like a plethora of other pups on the planet. Mutts, on the other hand, represent spontaneity, future potential and a sense of adventure. If you're looking for friendship, loyalty, stress reduction and devotion all in one furry package, adopting a mutt will bring a new brand of awesome into your life.
All things considered, mutts are awesome even without the fancy pedigree and exclusive contest eligibility. You'll find his ability to love and be loved as genuine as any purebred dog you'll ever meet.